Banyan Tree Lijiang close to opening

Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts has built a new luxury retreat in China’s southern Yunnan province - Banyan Tree Lijiang, which will open its doors to guests in April 2006. The new resort will open following the successful launch of Banyan Tree Ringha in nearby Shangri-La. Both properties are set close to the border of Tibet and provide good bases for adventurous incentive groups to explore the surrounding area. A total of 40 deluxe villas, 13 pool villas, one two-bedroom pool villa and one presidential villa have been constructed with local materials, such as pink stone and grey Naxi bricks. The deluxe villas each measure at least 350 square metres and feature private, heated outdoor jet pools or plunge pools. Banyan Tree Lijiang offers five star amenities, including extensive meeting facilities, tennis courts, a library and a games room, as well as Bai Yun Chinese restaurant, which partially floats over a communal courtyard pond. The highlight, however, is Banyan Tree Spa Lijiang, with treatments inspired by the unique and rare mountain tea grown in the area. Banyan Tree Spa will feature six heated spa treatment rooms and one Traditional Chinese Medicine Hall, in addition to the gym, yoga room and Banyan Tree Gallery offering unique cultural souvenirs of Lijiang. Visitors can enjoy the cultural thrills of Lijiang Old Town, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site, as well as the sights of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Dry Sea, and even the famed Stone Forest. Dayan, the 800-year-old town of Lijiang, is a cobblestoned, canal criss-crossed Naxi village famed for its vivacious town folk. Equally entrancing is the landscape, with its misty peaks and ecological sanctuary for the Yunnan golden monkey, alpine butterflies, lesser pandas and sacred Himalayan bird. Activities in the area include mountaineering, skiing, river rafting, gliding and horse racing.

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